BPD Community Alert: The Boston Police Warns Elderly Residents Against Scams Involving False Kidnapping Claims

BPD in the Community: The Boston Police Dept is aware of false phone calls in which parents/relatives of young students in Boston-area schools receive a hoax phone call claiming that their child was being held hostage and demanding that the parents/relatives pay a ransom. During the ransom call, children were heard crying in the background, a frequent tactic used in prior calls of this nature that have targeted primarily the elderly. In these most recent cases the child was determined to be safe at school.

While no money was transferred by the victims in this incident, residents that receive a call similar to the above scheme are advised to:

  • Contact police immediately.
  • Attempt to contact the person involved through your normal channels of communication to confirm their wellbeing.
  • Ask the caller for specific information about where the family member is located.
  • Have the caller physically describe the family member to see if the caller can provide some level of detail that could help confirm or dispel the claim.
  • Note the phone number where the call or text originated and report the incident to the Boston Police Department or your local area police immediately.

In addition to filing a report with the Boston Police Department, victims are also encouraged to report any Phone/Internet Fraud Scams to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Please call the FTC at 1(877) FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or TTY 1-866-653-4261 or visit their website at: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/scam-alerts